Health Benefits of Tomatoes

A tomato is a super food packed with nutrients that prevent us from chronic diseases and providing several health benefits.
Tomato nutrition facts and health benefits to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, anti-cancer, weight loss, etc. are considered.

Tomatoes: Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts


First let us look at the nutrition facts about tomatoes.

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Tomato is low in sodium, fat and cholesterol. It is a rich source of several beneficial nutrients like vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, Phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese.
Tomatoes deep red colour is due to lycopene.
Tomatoes deep red colour is due to lycopene.

Tomatoes are a treasure of vitamin C and antioxidants. Tomatoes offer excellent benefits from their antioxidants and phytonutrients, including alpha-tomatine, alpha-lipoic acid, folic acid, choline, flavonones, flavonols, farotenoids, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.

You can eat any variety of tomatoes, even green tomatoes, they are packed with nutrients.

The deep red colour of tomatoes is due to a rich concentration of lycopene, a carotenoid pigment, which is anti-cancerous.

Nutrition Data of Raw Tomato, Ripe

Tomato Nutrition FactsNutrient Value
Calories
Calories from fat
18
2
Total Fat0.2 g
Cholesterol0 mg
Potassium237 mg
Total Carbohydrate3.9 g
Protein0.9 g
Dietary fiber1.2 g
Sodium5 mg
Sugar2.6 g
Tomato Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin A43 µg
Vitamin C13.7 mg
Vitamin D0
Vitamin B-60.08 mg
Vitamin B-120
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.54 mg
Vitamin K7.9 µg
Folate15 µg
Calcium10 mg
Iron0.27 mg
Magnesium11 mg
Phosphorous24 mg
Zinc0.17 mg
Glycemic Load1
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Source: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Basic Report: 11529, ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods /show/3270
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26

Lowers Cholesterol, Protects Heart

Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, ensuring good cardiovascular health.
  1. Antioxidants Vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoid lycopene in tomatoes contribute to our heart health significantly (Best Antioxidant foods).
  2. Eating fresh tomatoes or taking tomato extracts and supplements have shown to lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, ensuring good cardiovascular health.
  3. The phytonutrients in tomatoes have been shown to help prevent excessive clumping of our platelet cells helping in reducing blood clots.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Tomatoes help lower your blood pressure.
Because tomatoes are high in potassium and low in sodium, they  have teh capability to reduce blood pressure naturally.

Makes Bones Stronger

Preliminary study has shown that antioxidants and lycopene in tomatoes may contribute to the bone health making them stronger and preventing osteoporosis.

Anti-Cancer Benefits

  1. According to the American Cancer Society, having diets rich in tomatoes may have a lower risk of cancers of the prostate, lung, brfeast, colon and stomach. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tomatoes are responsible to these benefits to us.
  2. Research has shown that the phytonutrient Alpha-tomatine has potential in prostate cancer prevention.
  3. Lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to reduce risk for breast cancer.

Help in Alzheimer disease

Diets that include tomatoes have been linked with reduced risk of  Alzheimer disease.

Weight loss

Diets containing Tomatoes have been linked in some studies with reduced risk of obesity.

Protects Skin From Sun

Eating tomato or tomato paste daily can protect you against ultraviolet rays from sun reducing up to 40% reduction of sunburns.

Other Benefits Due to Choline

  1. Choline in tomatoes helps with learning, memory, muscle movement and sleep.
  2. Choline helps in the absorption of fat.
  3. Choline reduces chronic inflammation.
  4. Choline helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes.

References

  1. Sesso HD et al., Dietary lycopene, tomato-based food products and cardiovascular disease in women. J Nutr Jul;133(7), 2336-41, 2003. 2003.
  2. Willcox JK, Catignani GL, Lazarus S, Tomatoes and cardiovascular health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 43(1):1-18, 2003.
  3. Silaste ML et al., Tomato juice decreases LDL cholesterol levels and increases LDL resistance to oxidation. Br J Nutr. 98(6),1251-8, 2007. PMID:17617941.
  4. Salem S, Salahi M, Mohseni M et al. Major dietary factors and prostate cancer risk: a prospective multicenter case-control study. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(1):21-7. 2011.
  5. Lippi G and Targher G. Tomatoes, lycopene-containing foods and cancer risk, Br J Cancer.  Mar 29, 2011; 104(7), 1234-5, Epub 2011 Feb 22. 2011.
  6. Tan HL, Thomas-Ahner JM, Grainger EM et al. Tomato-based food products for prostate cancer prevention: what have we learned? . Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2010 Sep;29(3):553-68. 2010.
  7. Choline, Nutrition 411, Last reviewed December 2008, Accessed 13 February 2014, www.nutrition411.com/component/k2/item/438-choline.htm

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